One of our goals here, not yet obtained but getting closer, is to live under the poverty line. Here, in the USA, for a family of 2 that magical number is $16,020. Scroll to the bottom of this post if you'd like to see how these poverty levels break out by family size.
In my years of nursing management I brought home five times that level. Coupled with our prior farm income from sales of organic meat and milk, we were fairly flush. Currently our income is far more inconsistent. When our Chatsworth farm tenants were making the agreed upon payments last year, our income was enough to pay that mortgage , our small mortgage here and our basic living expenses. In July those payments stopped and our financial world was flipped over on its face. By selling off livestock and equipment we've kept our heads above water. Our ears were drenched, but with the right upward angle of our chins, we've stayed afloat.
Soon, we hope to close a deal on the Chatsworth farm, I'll tell you details on that when it happens, and then after that...we'll see a huge income drop. Huge.
It's exactly what we want, what we have planned for. Less income, less expenses and most important; less taxes paid to a government that overreaches its boundaries and under claims its responsibilities. We are not victims of downsizing, early retirement or layoffs. We are both college educated and we have chosen to decrease our "standard of living" in order to work primarily at home at the tasks that bring us the most satisfaction: homesteading and writing.
One way we live cheap is by shopping cheap. The terms pre-owned, salvaged, recycled and just plan USED make us giddy. It took me years to figure out that once an item enters your home and is worn or used just one time, it is know longer "new" yet generally just as valuable. We, society, pay big bucks for sharp creases and shiny surfaces that do little for an items functionality. Household items are an excellent example of this and so I wanted to tell you about this great new shop in Fairbury, Il. I recently discovered.
Someone Else's Treasure is located downtown at 124 W. Locust Street and it is a welcome change. The owner has filled her shop with a nice variety of items including home decor, housewares and used furniture. These items are not so unusual in themselves but what is unusual, what is super appreciated, are the prices. They are reasonable. Definitely marked up from the estate sales, or auctions from whence they originated, as they should be, but still easily affordable.
Her used furniture is by far the best of deals, recliners for $25-$50, end tables for $10, dining chairs for $15. Certainly one can find these same things at other used furniture stores but lately there has been this insane upward pricing of used furniture that is "Mid-Century" aka. over 50 years old. Craziness to spend $200 or more on upholstered furniture that contains other peoples, excuse me, moistenings. Don't get me wrong. As a retired RN, I have a fair tolerance to other peoples' body fluids but I don't care if George Clooney napped in that Lazyboy, it isn't worth more than the one my grannie snoozed in.
And sure you might get furniture cheaper at garage sales,but soon garage sale season will be over and great deals generally take travel time, going from one sale to another. The owner at Someone Else's Treasure has taken the time, gathered the items and made it easy to find wonderful used stuff for great prices.
And no, she is not a friend of mine, nor do I get a free set antique dining chairs for my blogging efforts. I just appreciate the entrepreneur who wants to make a living without skinning her customers alive and I like telling others about good deals. Here is her FACEBOOK PAGE.
2016 Illinois Poverty Levels, For Your Viewing Pleasure
|Household Size||Yearly Income Poverty Line||Yearly Income (125%)||Yearly Income (150%)||Yearly Income (175%)||Yearly Income (200%)||Yearly Income (250%)||Yearly Income (300%)||Yearly Income (350%)|